Do you know what’s worst than your typical Karen at a grocery store? A Karen that is the president of a homeowner association board (HOA), or better known as a Queen Karen. She’s ‘almost’ like a Queen Bee in a way, the homeowner association is her hive and the community residents are her worker bees. Both share power and entitlement over their environment. But unlike a Queen Bee, a Queen Karen lacks a major factor: being vital to her hive. This is where the story begins. All residents were expected to contribute to a better community and make that ‘honey’ for their gated lifestyle, but they soon realize Queen Karen wasn’t doing her part. They swarm together to plan on how to dethrone her from their community. Does it work or does it come back to sting them all?
In 1985, a 45-year-old woman, “Dorothy” aka “Dotty” had just retired for the second time. She was now focusing full-time on her property management gig and had just bought a 2500 square foot luxury home with the sole intention of renting it out. She bought this home within a community that had its own HOA. She never had to deal with this type of association before, so she wasn’t too familiar with how they ran things or how bad they can get. It didn’t take long before she became very acquainted with the HOA board.
Amongst the HOA board was “Karen.” Based on the stories Dotty was told, it seemed like Karen had a problem with everyone and everything in the neighborhood. Over time, residents gave her the nickname “Queen Karen” because she was known to give out an absurd amount of HOA fines. If trash cans were left out, residents would get fined. If there was loud music after 10 pm, residents would get fined. If a resident had a yard sale without permission, they would get fined. Even removing dead plants and replanting new ones without approval would result in a fine. The list went on, with no anticipation of an end.
Some residents tried to fight Queen Karen against some of the regulations but quickly realized it wasn’t that easy. Even though anyone within the community could run for the HOA board, the current HOA board still chose who the president would be. Six out of the ten board members liked Karen so that was how she kept her job as president. To add to her entitlement, her husband was in the medical field and was very wealthy. He was a nice person, she not so much. With her having power, entitlement, and money, came with a snobby attitude. Dotty’s first encounter with Queen Karen only confirmed that. No good impressions were made that day and so forth.
Dotty And Queen Karen Met The First Time
Fast forward a few months ahead. Dotty was now renting her luxury home to her good friends, “Bob” and “Candy”. Once a month, she would visit them to collect the rent money and to catch up. During this visit, they decided to go outside and listen to music. They were chatting away when all of sudden a golf cart was pulling to their driveway. Lo and behold, it was Queen Karen. Her face did not look too happy.
Still, in the golf cart, she yelled, “Excuse me?!”
The three friends look at each other with the same thought, ‘This isn’t going to be good.’
Dotty spoke up, “Yeah?”
With a demanding tone, she said, “You have to turn that music down. It’s too loud!”
Dotty responded with a no and explained that it was only eight pm and this music volume can be played until ten pm. Queen Karen was taken aback by Dotty’s response and didn’t like the retaliation. How dare someone stand up to her? She demanded again for the group to turn the music down. They ignored her and kept the music going. This agitated her even more, so she wrote Dotty a fine then left in her golf cart.
Most people would have taken the abuse and paid the fine just to be done with it, but not Dotty. She went to the HOA board to contest the fine. Since she was not at wrong, she won the case and did not have the pay. Queen Karen was not happy about that and from that point on she made it her personal mission to antagonize Dotty at any chance she got.
Queen Karen would nag and fuss about every little thing Dotty and her friends did. It didn’t help that her friends lived across the street from Queen Karen and each time she would visit, there was bound to be a confrontation between the two. Dotty tried to fight on what she could but ended up paying for some of the fines. She grew tired of the constant back and forth with Queen Karen so she confided in her friend Candy. Candy was the opposite of Dotty. She was the ‘go with the flow’ and non-confrontational type, but even she was getting fed up with Queen Karen. One night, Dotty and Candy decided to meet up to discuss their Karen problem.
Candy was waiting outside for Dotty when she finally arrived. As soon she parked her car, Queen Karen came out of her house in her robe, shouting at Dotty that she can’t park there and to move her car. To avoid another fine, Dotty complied and moved her car. As Candy approached Dotty at her new parking spot, they both watched as Queen Karen went back inside her house to hug a man that wasn’t her husband. They looked at one another in disbelief. Queen Karen was cheating on her husband! They hurried into Candy’s house to discuss what they should do and came to a final conclusion. The next day, they told Queen Karen’s husband about what they saw the day before.
He didn’t believe the two ladies, but they assumed he did his own investigation because three months later, he moved all his stuff out of the house. The gossip around town was she didn’t get a penny from their divorce settlement. She cheated so she wasn’t entitled to anything.
From that point on, Dotty noticed a few changes to Queen Karen’s lifestyle. She sold her brand-new car and was now driving around town in a used car, and she adopted different dressing habits. They thought the change would humble her down and there would be no more Queen Karen, but it didn’t. Even after the divorce, she was still snobby and jobless ,but was still living somewhat better than everyone else. It didn’t make sense, and things got even worst.
Something Didn’t Seem Right
Fast-forward to February 1986, Queen Karen and her HOA minions had been giving out fines for the most outlandish reasons. Residents were now getting fined for having trash cans out a couple of hours before or after the trash pick-up. Residents were fined if they owned an older car. Residents were also fined if their car was dirty. The list went on and on. They also increased everyone’s monthly dues. Dotty and other residents in the community grew tired and frustrated of all the out-of-the-blue regulations the HOA was pulling out of their butts. So they all decided they would raise their concerns at the next town meeting.
On the day of the meeting, the town hall was packed with angry residents, questioning the HOA’s motives. Queen Karen assured everyone that the increase in fines and monthly dues was for the greater good of the community. There were repairs needed within the community. One resident asked why they weren’t notified of this increase.
She chuckled and said, “You should have read your yearly budget report, it clearly states this increase notice.”
This shocked the angry residents because she knew no one ever read that report. It rarely contained important information, normally it was a bunch of junk. Queen Karen shrugged her shoulders and dismissed the meeting.
After the meeting, Dotty and like many others went home to review the yearly budget report. She read that report from top to bottom.
Dotty muttered to herself, “She was right. It states the HOA increased their budget by 15 percent. But wait -“.
She realized this report wasn’t showing what the extra money was being spent on. Queen Karen said ‘repairs’ at the meeting, but there was no proof. The next day, Dotty and a few residents went to Queen Karen’s house and demanded answers. She refused to explain herself and closed her door on them. Since she was not cooperating, this led the residents to file a lawsuit against the HOA to find out where their money was going.
After four long months, the truth finally came out.
Records showed that Queen Karen was living off the HOA fines and monthly dues. The increase was not for the greater good of the community but rather the greater good of her lavish lifestyle. Once she was busted, the residents turned her over to the police and reported her for embezzling money from the community. She was charged with fraud and extortion. But that was not all.
Dotty and her fellow neighbors filed a lawsuit against her to get reimbursed for all their money she had taken. Since she no longer had a rich husband, job, or any other source of income, she had to mortgage her house to pay back the residents.
On her court date, she was found guilty of all her charges and got six consecutive years in federal prison with no parole. Because she was locked up, no one was paying off her mortgage so the bank foreclosed on it and someone else bought it. She lost it all: her entitlement, her power, and her money. So when she got out in 1992, she had nothing to her name and became homeless. Dotty and the others had no intentions to ruin her life like that, they just wanted justice to be served for their fellow community residents.
Queen Karen had it all and thought nothing could stop her, especially not the people she had the most power over. That soon took a turn for the worst, when she became conniving and greedy to the people that trusted her the most. Like a beehive, if a bee becomes threatening to the hive, then it comes to a time they would need to buzz off. In this case, the residents had no other choice but to overthrow her from the position in the community which led to imprisonment. She was stealing hard-earned money from her residents and lying about it all. It was an unforeseen ending that could have been avoided. If she would have worked like everyone else, then she wouldn’t have to steal. If she would have been nicer to her residents, they wouldn’t have turned on her so quickly. Justice always wins. The residents got their money back, their community back, and their overall freedom from that Crazy Karen.